Saturday, November 13, 2010

Healthy Holiday Cooking Recap

Simple, satisfying, colorful, flavorful, festive and delicious! These healthy holiday recipes will become new family traditions and bring more whole veggies and fruit to your holiday table!

Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce
½ cup orange juice
12 oz bag fresh cranberries
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger or 1” piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
½ cup all natural orange marmalade
Agave nectar to taste (all natural sweetener)

Combine ingredients in a small pot and simmer over medium heat 10-15 minutes or until the cranberries burst open. Sauce will thicken a bit as it cools.

Mushroom Gravy

2 pints mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour (whole wheat or white)
1 tsp fresh thyme
16 oz broth or stock
½ heavy cream (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the mushrooms, onion and garlic until tender and cooked down. Add one more Tbsp of olive oil and reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the flour and keep stirring until a light brown roux has formed. Pour in the broth or stock and scrape up the flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Increase heat to medium high, add thyme, cream, salt and pepper and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes or until gravy starts to thicken and can coat a spoon. Gravy will continue to thicken as it cools. Serve over steamed green beans for a lighter version of the classic green bean casserole.

Corn & Edamame Succotash
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Corn from 5 ears or 2 1-lb bags of frozen kernels
1 1-lb bag of frozen, shelled edemame (soy beans)
1 red bell pepper, small diced
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the onions and garlic until aromatic, about 3-4 minutes. Add corn, edamame and bell pepper. Season with cayenne and continue to

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Indulgent Experience Holiday Menu

Take the stress out of the holidays, and let us do the cooking for you!

Introducing The Indulgent Experience, edible bliss for your holiday table. The Indulgent Experience is a collaborative culinary creation between Life Chef Asata Reid and The Food Relationship Coach Shelley Chapman, and we've created an incredible menu for your holiday pleasure. How do you order your holiday meal?
It’s easy! You’re invited. All you have to do is…..

View. Choose. Call 404.997.8328. Enjoy!

Holiday Menu available October – December 2010
Thanksgiving orders must be in my November 22nd. Christmas orders must be in my December 22.

(V)Vegan Items

Proteins (Choose 1)

* Jasmine Tea Brined Duck
* Herb Roasted Turkey
* Fennel-Lemon Infused Salmon
* Tofurkey(V)

Sides -
Green Side (Choose 1)

* Citrus Jicama Salad w/ Pomegranate Dressing(V)
* Fennel Apple Parsley Salad w/ Lemon Herb Dressing(V)
* Ethiopian Style Collards*
* Honey Balsamic Kale(V)
* Green Beans w/ Wild Mushroom Gravy & Caramelized Onions

Starch Side (Choose 1)

* Roasted Garlic Yukon Gold Potato Mash
* Roasted Potato Wedges w/ Rosemary Garlic Butter
* Herb Parmesan Mashed Russet Potatoes
* 3 Cheese Mac & Cheese
* Sweet Sage Butternut Squash
* Coconut Pineapple Candied Yams

Dressing (Choose 1)

* Bread Dressing with Apples and Thyme
* Wild Rice Dressing w/ Pecans and Apricots
* Cornbread Shrimp Poblano Dressing
* Rustic Porcini Onion Dressing (V)

Breads (Choose 1)

* Yeast Rolls
* Cheddar Chive Corn Muffins

Complimenting Sides (Choose 2)

* Cranberry & Spiced Orange Sauce(V)
* Wild Mushroom Gravy
* Turkey Gravy

Desserts (Choose 1)

* Red Velvet 3 Layer Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting
* Pumpkin 3 Layer Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel Drizzle(V)
* Sweet Potato Cheesecakes
* Peach Cobbler
* Cream Cheese Brownies
* Chocolate Truffles

Monday, September 13, 2010

What's so great about tomatoes?

Read my Eating Healthy column in the Sept. 11th edition of Cross Roads News to find out more about this Super Food!

Friday, September 3, 2010

September's Calendar

Lots of chances to taste how delicious healthy and nutritious food can be! Catch me at any of these events during the month of September. See you soon!

Friday Sept 10
Kaiser Permanente’s HealthWorks at Georgia Tech

Saturday Sept 11
What’s Cooking at Sevananda Natural Foods Market
All natural foods cooking class from noon – 1:30 p.m. in the Education Room
$10 members, $12 non-members

Wednesday Sept 15
Cooking in the Garden at Truly Living Well Urban Gardens
3-7 p.m.

Friday Sept 17
Kaiser Permanente’s HealthWorks at McCormick

Saturday Sept 18
Private Cooking Class

Tuesday Sept 21
What’s for Dinner at the Cook’s Warehouse in Decatur
Chef Asata Reid is back to help you answer the daily dilemma of “What’s for dinner?” with recipes that are fast, fresh and full of flavor. This class will help you master quick cooking techniques that shave minutes off your evening meal while preserving the wholesome goodness of all-natural ingredients. Forget meal planning and learn how to create smart dinner solutions from seasonal and local ingredients that will make your weekly menus pop with home-grown freshness. On the menu are 7-Minute Cilantro Crusted Flank Steak with a Black Rice Salad, Soft Tacos with Smokey Jalapeno Mayo, and Grilled Plums with Lemon Sorbet and Lavender Syrup. Chef Asata will also discuss ‘The Well Stocked Pantry’, essential items that make throwing together delicious and nutritious meals easy as pie. Healthy meals in a hurry never tasted so good! 7-9 pm $45

Saturday Sept 25
Kaiser Permanente’s Operation Zero: on-going program to prevent childhood obesity
Cooking demo at the Crescent Center location 10 am
Slow Food’s Day of Action build a garden at Charles Drew Charter School
Cooking demo at 2pm, sponsored by Sevananda

Tuesday Sept 28
Kaiser Permanente’s Art of Healthy Cooking class at the Carver Family YMCA 6:30 pm
Free to YMCA members

Thursday Sept 30
Chefs Series at Campbell HS in Smyrna
Cooking demo and discussion with Culinary Arts Class 10-11:30 a.m.

Sevananda’s Member Mixer at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Retreat House
6-8 pm Food Sampling with recipes
Free for Sevananda members, $5 for non-members

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Where's the Life Chef?

Hey gang, summer's almost over so I'm back to the grind! Here's where you can catch me for classes, demos and more:

Saint Philip AME Annual Health Fair

Join me for a free healthy cooking demo at Saint Philip AME Church during their annual health fair! Learn how healthy food choices can impact your well being without counting calories and weighing your food. Healthy cooking can be fun, easy and delicious! Cooking demo will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the Youth Café. FREE

CRN’s Back to School Expo 2:30 p.m.

Cross Roads News presents this all-day expo at the Mall at Stonecrest will get you and the family ready for the exciting 2010/11 school year! I’ll be on the Demo Stage to show you some healthy snack and lunch ideas the kids will love to make and eat! Secret to getting kids to eat healthy? Get them in the kitchen! FREE

Free Family Workshops: Healthy Eating @ Oakhurst Community Garden
August 21 from 1-3pm

Families that come rotate through 3 different stations: Healthy Snacks, How to Eat Healthy on a Budget, and Nutrition 101/How to Read Food Labels. We are also collaborating with Les Dames d’Escoffier’s local chapter (local chefs committed to educational outreach), the Dekalb County Cooperative Extension, and volunteers from Emory University.

Arthritis Expo
A Healthworks program presented by Kaiser Permanente

Delta Dental
A Healthworks program presented by Kaiser Permanente

Professional Kitchen Primer Hands On for Kids (Ages 10 - 17)

The Cook's Warehouse Decatur Store 10:30 AM - 1:30: PM
So you wanna be a professional chef? Think you have what it takes? Come learn the ins and outs of the professional kitchen, whet your knife skills, and transform basic culinary skills into a delicious final meal. Chef Asata Reid brings her professional experiences as a restaurant chef, personal chef, caterer and cooking instructor to help young ones explore a future in the culinary industry. On the menu this afternoon: Vegetable Soup with Handmade Dumplings, Spanish Inspired Chicken Pilaf, and Peach Crumble Turnovers with Dark Chocolate. Chefs-in-training will be introduced to the Mother Sauces, put their knife skills to work while learning basic soup making, break down a chicken, work with puff pastry, temper dark chocolate, and discuss the stations on a working kitchen line. Budding chefs can bring lots of questions and learn ways to turn their passion for food into a professional career. $50

Awaken 2010 Expo: Living Your Soul Purpose
Bliss Brunch
Promoting the exploration of the connection between spirituality and health and life path awakening. On an individual level, AWAKEN inspires and nurtures soul evolution, bringing attendees closer to purposeful living through the discovery of innate talents, gifts, and life path. On a collective level, AWAKEN creates the foundation for the journey of oneness recognized, honored, and realized, or the unification of one mind, one heart, one soul, united in consciousness with no earthly boundaries; in other words, collective soul evolution. View the event schedule and details here:

8/31 Carver YMCA

Art of Healthy Cooking Demo presented by Kaiser Permanente at the Villages at Carver Family YMCA. Learn how cheap and easy healthy cooking can be! No special purchases are needed to pull together fast and fantastic dishes that nourish your body and satisfy your taste buds. Low in fat and calories but high in flavor and charisma, these dishes will add to your healthy cooking repertoire. FREE

What’s Cooking? Natural Foods Classes noon-1:30 p.m.

Join me at Sevananda Natural Foods Market and learn how to transform organic and locally grown foods into delicious, nutritious meals that you’ll love! Our information-sharing sessions divulge a wealth of healing and wellness knowledge that will benefit you and your family. Discover how food truly feeds your body and soul. $10 members, $12, non-members.

What’s For Dinner? - Foreign and Flavorful!

The Cook’s Warehouse Decatur Store 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Chef Asata Reid is back to help you answer the daily dilemma of “What’s for dinner?” with recipes that are fast, fresh and full of flavor. This class will help you master quick cooking techniques that shave minutes off your evening meal while preserving the wholesome goodness of all-natural ingredients. Forget meal planning and learn how to create smart dinner solutions from seasonal and local ingredients that will make your weekly menus pop with home-grown freshness. On the menu are 7-Minute Cilantro Crusted Flank Steak with a Black Rice Salad, Soft Tacos with Smokey Jalapeno Mayo, and Grilled Plums with Lemon Sorbet and Lavender Syrup. Chef Asata will also discuss ‘The Well Stocked Pantry’, essential items that make throwing together delicious and nutritious meals easy as pie. Healthy meals in a hurry never tasted so good! $45

What’s Cooking? Natural Food Classes noon-1:30 p.m.

Join me at Sevananda Natural Foods Market and learn how to transform organic and locally grown foods into delicious, nutritious meals that you’ll love! Our information-sharing sessions divulge a wealth of healing and wellness knowledge that will benefit you and your family. Discover how food truly feeds your body and soul. $10 members, $12, non-members.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Chef to Showcase Easy, Healthy & Tasty Meals for Kids

From CrossRoads News August 4, 2010

"Parents who want their children to eat better will get lots of help from life chef Asata Reid at the Aug. 14 Family & Back-to-School Expo at the Mall at Stonecrest.

Reid, a chef, food writer and culinary educator, will demonstrate quick and easy lunches and after-school snacks from the main stage in front of Macy’s at 2:30 p.m.

The mother of two boys says that lunch and snacks should be healthy, tasty and good for growing kids.

“Healthy eating is definitely not expensive and it’s not hard,” she said. “I will show parents and kids how easy and delicious healthy eating can be.”

Read the full article here:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Marscapone Stuffed Grilled Pears with Ginger Syrup

Grilled chz-stuffed pears w ginger syrup
Here's a winner. A grilled/griddled fruit dessert that presents elegantly, tastes great, and is beyond easy to make. If you have some small dessert bowls, martini glasses or other creative service wear, use them to showcase this easy fruit based dessert. If you attended a recent What's Cooking? class at Sevananda Natural Foods Market, or the opening night of the National Black Arts Festival, then you got a chance to sample this dish. Here's how it goes:

3 ripe pears, peeled, halved, seeds scooped out
2 Tbs butter or oil

Brush hot grill or griddle with oil or butter. Place pears on cooking surface, cut side down. Cook about 5 minutes on one side (or until carmelized to a golden brown). Flip pears over and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and arrange on a serving platter, cut side up.

Ginger Syrup:
1 cup brown or turbinado sugar
1 cup water
1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Combine all three ingredients. Bring up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow to continue cooking until reduced by half. Remove from heat and allow to thicken slightly.


3 oz marcapone cheese
1/4-1/2 of the ginger syrup

Combine enough ginger syrup to sweeten the marscapone cheese. Refrigerate to chill until ready to serve.

for garnish


Scoop a generous quenelle by using two spoons to make a football shaped ball out of the marscapone mixture. Place a scoop on top of each pear half. Top each quenelle with a generous sprinkling of crumbled granola for texture. Drizzle ginger syrup over each pear. The warm syrup will melt the marscapone to form a creamy, sweet sauce. Yum!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sauteed Kale with Cannellini Beans

This dish uses French Onion Soup and spices found in the Vietnamese noodle dish called pho. I love pho, and it's typically made with a beef-based broth, but we go vegan by using a high quality French Onion Soup with its complex sweet/savory flavors compliments of the carmelized onions used in the base. A handful of ingredients, a boatload of nutrition and flavor that just goes on and on...

Check out the video too!

1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 large leaves kale, or about 2-3 cups, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 large can cannellini beans, or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 pieces star anise
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup French Onion Soup

Sweat onions and garlic with olive oil over medium high heat in a soup pot. Stir in chopped kale and rinsed beans. Season with cinnamon, star anise, red pepper, salt and black pepper. Add French Onion Soup, stir, cover and simmer until the kale is tender and a brilliant emerald green (about 10 minutes). Remove the star anise pieces and serve immediately.

Friday, July 30, 2010

wilted Arugula Salad w/ Spiced Chick Peas & Artichoke Hearts


This wilted arugula salad is simple to prepare, and thanks to the Life Chef Dessert Rose spice blend, has big flavor that will make everyone happy. If you attended the July "What's Cooking?" Class at Sevananda Natural Foods Market, or the National Black Arts Festival July 15-18, you may have had a sample of this sensational salad. If not, check out the video version here:

Spiced Chickpeas & Artichoke Hearts with Arugula

1 medium onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp Life Chef Dessert Rose spice blend
- OR -
combination of cumin, thyme, black pepper, parsley and garlic powder.
1 bag of baby arugula
8 oz feta cheese
juice of 1 lemon

Saute onions and garlic in 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Add bell pepper, artichokes, and chickpeas.

Stir in spice blend and continue to heat until the bell peppers just start to wilt.

Arrange arugula in a serving bowl or platter. Pour chickpea mixture over the arugula.

Sprinkle the feta cheese and lemon juice over the salad, toss, and serve immediately.

Smokey Sausage & Potato Stew

This one pot wonder is a flavorful blast of goodness. It's easily made vegan by using meatless sausages, and it can easily turn any leftover meat (or beans for that matter)into something new and yummy.

This dish was also featured at this year's National Black Arts Festival, plus a made a vegan version for a recent What's Cooking? class at Sevananda Natural Foods Market, and another version using Greek style lamb sausages is featured in a new Life Chef video ... coming soon!

Smokey Sausage & Potato Stew
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb of new potatoes (red potatoes) thinly sliced
1 lb of turkey or meatless sausage, removed from casing
1 to 1 1/2 cup of prepared tomato sauce
2-3 Tbsp Life Chef Flamenco spice blend
- OR - combination smoked & sweet paprika, cayenne pepper, turmeric, garlic and thyme
1 cup green olive, sliced
1 cup of fresh parsley, chopped

In a large pot saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until tender.

Add potatoes and sausage, stirring to break up any chunks.

Season with Life Chef Flamenco Spice blend, stir in tomato sauce, cover and let cook until meat is cooked through and potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15-20 minutes.

Just before serving, stir in the olives and parsley. Serve immediately.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lemon Scented Couscous w Zucchini and Basil

photo by Brandi at


2 cups water
2 cups couscous
pinch of sea salt
juice from 2 lemons

Bring salted water to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork while stirring in lemon juice.

4-6 zucchini cut into halfmoons, about 1/2" thick
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Life Chef Humming Bird spice blend
dehydrated parsley, garlic, onion, black pepper, and lemon zest

Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until just tender. Add garlic and zucchini, stir in the seasoning blend and cook until zucchini is just tender. Remove from heat and stir into cous cous.

Juice from 1 lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil (optional)
6 oz feta cheese
1 bunch basil, shredded

Squeeze lemon juice and sprinkle basil over the zucchini-couscous mixture, stir well, then dress with olive oil and lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Vegan Gumbo

Gumbo May 15 2010 027

Made a big ol' pot of Vegan Gumbo for the Alive Expo this past weekend. Folks seemed to enjoy it, even though (or maybe because) we didn't use any okra! I still started with a quick roux and finished with file, so the heart of the gumbo was still beating even without it's namesake ingredient. The word gumbo is derived from an African term for okra. I certainly had a good time and I hope y'all did too!
Alive Expo May 15 2010 026

Alive Expo May 15 2010 025

If you whip up a batch, let me know how it turns out!

Vegan Gumbo

1 large yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, leaves removed, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 Tbs flour
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 32-oz box of Pacific Natural Foods Organic French Onion Soup
1 Tbs cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 pkg of chorizo or spicy style meatless sausages, cut into pieces
1 pkg of chicken or stir fry style seitan, broken into bite sized pieces
1 Tbs file (to taste)

In a large soup pot heat the olive oil and saute onion, carrots, celery and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add the flour and stir continuously until the flour has taken on a toasty aroma. Stir in the diced tomatoes and French Onion Soup scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot to enhance the soup’s flavor. Add bay leaves, cayenne pepper, soy sausage and seitan. Simmer at least 20-30 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Just before serving, stir in a bit of file which will thicken the gumbo and add authentic flavor. Serve with rice.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Egg White Spinach Artichoke Mini Frittatas

image: Randy Mayor; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell from

Want to cut cholesterol? Need a quick "heat 'em and eat 'em" breakfast? Looking to "sneak" more dark leafy greens and vegetables into breakfast? Have I found a yummy solution for you... Using a large muffin pan you can whip up a batch of these, some for now some for later, and breakfast is "ret to go" as they say way out in the boondocks. You can even go McMuffin style by making a breakfast sandwich using a multigrain English muffin, low fat mozzerella cheese slice, and a slice lean turkey breast.

Egg White Mini Frittatas – makes 12

1 32 oz carton of egg whites
2 small jars of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1 10 oz bag of spinach
½ small onion, diced
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp Djon mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with baking spray and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Spray with baking spray or add 1 Tbsp of oil. Sautee the onion until tender, add the spinach and stir until wilted, about 5 minutes total. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Combine all of the other ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Stir in the slightly cooled spinach mixture. Using a ladle, fill each of the cups on the muffin pan.

Transfer pan to the oven and bake approximately 10 minutes or until the centers are set. Flip mini-frittatas out onto a rack to cool. Store in an air tight container and refrigerate up to 3-5 days. To eat, either reheat briefly or eat at room temperature.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fish Stew

Simple, spicy, satisfying. That's how I'd describe this easy, low fat stew. I made a big batch and had it for lunch several times last week, and now that it's gone ... well I kinda miss it. The green olives provide a nice tangy element of surprise and the smoked paprika lend some subtle heat. The flavors of the stew are pulled from Spanish influences and took the humble (bland?) tilapia and transformed it into something exciting!
Spanish style fish stew

28 oz fire roasted tomatoes, pureed
1 medium yellow onion
5 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp turmeric
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp Italian herb blend
4 tilapia fillets cut into 2" chunks
2 bay leaves
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup green olives (optional)
2 cups cooked yellow rice
fruity extra virgin olive oil, diced avocado, sliced lime (optional)

Puree the tomatoes and transfer to a large soup pot. Add onions, garlic, herbs and spices and stock and stir together over medium heat. Bring up to a simmer and submerge the fish into the soup base. Cook gently for 15 minutes or until fish is thoroughly cooked but not falling apart (stir as little as possible during the cooking so as not to break up the fish). Gently fold in cooked rice and olives and heat through. Finish soup by garnishing bowls with a drizzle of flavorful olive oil, diced avocado and/or a wedge of lime.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Chilled Strawberry Soup with Balsamic Grilled Strawberries

Now that spring has sprung, gorgeous, delicious, fresh and CHEAP strawberries are plentiful. Here's an easy way to make good use of them. Super easy to put together, this chilled soup makes for a great brunch item, or a dessert, or a nice starter to a long meal. This makes a good amount, so unless you have guests halve the recipe.

4 pints Strawberries, trimmed of their stems
1 cup Vanilla Yogurt
1 bunch Mint
Splash Balsamic vinegar
2-3 Tbsp Agave Nectar or Honey, to taste
1 tsp Cinnamon
Apple Juice as needed

Pour 1/2 cup of good balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced into a syrup. Remove from heat, season with cinnamon and set aside.

Slice 1 pint of strawberries in half and cook on a hot, buttered griddle or pan just until cut side is carmelized, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and cut into a large dice. Chiffonade (thinly slice) a few mint leaves and add to the cut strawberries. Pour balsamic syrup over strawberries, stir and set aside.
In a blender combine 1 1/2 pints of strawberries, yogurt, mint and agave nectar until smooth (will probably have to do in 2 batches). If it's too thick, thin with a little apple juice. Pass the cold soup through a strainer to catch any lumps.
To serve, ladle the cool soup into bowls, and top with the balsamic strawberry mixture. Garnish with a mint leaf and serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Seeing is believing...

I admit I learn a lot on Twitter and YouTube. They are great places for info sharing. For example, I've hear of this urban myth: a happy meal that's been shown around in perfect condition that's 4 years old. The healthy food circles are always bringing this up. Well thanks to a Tweet from @kandaka_long I now have proof.

Here's the video of said old McD's food, preserved without any interference of it's own composition (whatever that may be):

Friday, March 12, 2010

Look Here: Recipe Roundup

Ok I know I said you could find the curry chick peas and the whole wheat pasta salad right here, but some of you have probably had to dig around the website to find the recipes. So I'm going to corral the recent demo recipes right here for you to make it easy to find.

Very Berry Soda

Fill a tall glass 2/3 full with ice cubes.
Pour half full with club soda or sparkling mineral water.
Top off with an all-natural dark berry juice blend such as cran-blueberry.
Stir and enjoy the refreshing burst of antioxidants and flavor!

Curried Chickepeas with Kale (or Spinach)
also see video in left margin on this page

Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Artichokes, Chicken and Spinach

Herb Roasted Chicken
1 Roasting hen
1 spring rosemary, stemmed and chopped
5 sprigs of thyme, stemmed and chopped
½ head garlic
4 bay leaves
black pepper
1 lemon thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Liberally season chicken with salt, pepper and herbs (including inside the cavity). Stuff garlic and bay leaves inside of the cavity. Fold wings behind the chicken and secure the legs. Place on a rack or perforated pan in a roasting pan. Cover breast and tops of legs with lemon slices. Bake at 400 degrees in center of the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning half way through cooking. Chicken is done when thick part of the thigh joint is pierced with a knife and the juices run clear, and none of the flesh is pink. Discard lemons, and slice chicken to serve.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

EZ Creamy Mashed Potatoes

I think I've avoided making mashed potatoes on many occasions because I thought of it as a multi-step process: peel, cook, drain, mash, combine with warm milk possibly using a mixer ... In my mind the sink full of dishes just didn't justify the craving, so I held out. Well through combination of an irresistible craving for mashed potatoes, my need for a fast side dish and a small degree of laziness, I've made creamy mashed potatoes into a one-pot dish.

I don't make mashed potatoes often, but when I do, I use milk, cream and butter ... boiling potatoes in water? Bah humbug. However, you can certainly lighten the load on these 15 minute potatoes (yes you read that right) by using water or chicken stock for cooking, and omitting the butter or substituting a lesser amount of a heart-healthy oil like a good quality olive oil. It's up to you, and the great thing about home cooking is that YOU control the ingredients, so make your mashed potatoes as light or rich as you like.

Think potatoes are an "empty carb?" Think again: they contain vitamin C, potassium, B Vitamins, fiber and several trace minerals. Now keep in mind a lot of the nutrients are diminished if you peel your potatoes, so consider partially peeling them (think making stripes with your peeler) to retain some of these nutrients. Read more from about the health benefits of potatoes.

EZ Creamy Mashed Potatoes
4 cups milk (whole, skim, 1/2 & 1/2, stock, etc.)
6-8 medium redskin potatoes (think tennis ball size) peeled and quartered
2 bay leaves
1/2 stick butter or 2 Tbsp olive oil (optional)
salt/pepper to taste

Combine peeled and cut potatoes with milk, salt and pepper in a pot. Liquid should be enough to just cover the potatoes.

Cook for about 10-15 over medium heat being careful not to scald the milk and stirring occasionally to prevent any sticking on the bottom of the pot.

When potatoes are fork tender, remove the bay leaves, add the butter or oil, and mash with a whisk or potato masher or fork. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. If potatoes are too stiff, whip in a little additional milk or cream 2 Tbsp at a time. If serving potatoes later, reheat with a little additional liquid.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I'll admit it: yeast rolls intimidate me. In fact, baking in general intimidates me, but there's nothing better than a yeast dough for dense gooey cinnamon rolls. Fortunately, I can go from freezer to plate in about 25-30 minutes when I get a "jones" for cinnamon rolls thanks to Sister Shubert's dinner rolls (She has an interesting story so check out her website). I've had the regular yeast rolls, so when I saw these cinnamon rolls and orange rolls I grabbed one of each. They fit the bill for a not-home-made-but-good-nonetheless Christmas Eve morning moment. Look for them in the frozen pastry section where you'd find the pie crusts.